Umeå Institute of Design
Based on research on international regulations and user observations, AirBorn offers a solution to the identified fact that none of the present ways for flying with infants are safe. By placing the infant in safer seating positions that protects the infant from impact with low-tech airbags and secures the infant at impact and during evacuations, the concept offers 3 seating modes that are safe and comfortable for infant and parent. In case of an evacuation on water, the seat works as a life cot.
AirBorn, child seat for infants in commercial airplanes Based on research on international regulations and user observations, AirBorn offers a solution to the identified fact that none of the present ways for flying with infants are safe. By placing the infant in safer seating positions that protects the infant from impact with low-tech airbags and secures the infant at impact and during evacuations, the concept offers 3 seating modes that are safe and comfortable for infant and parent. In case of an evacuation on water, the seat works as a life cot.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The regulations of flying with infants are divided in two distinctly different fields. Either the infant have to wear a loop-belt attached to the parent’s lap belt. Or it is forbidden to use a lap belt and the infant is in this case unrestrained. None of these travelling methods are safe for the infant. The parent also has the option of using their own infant car seat if it is approved for airlines. This method is seldom used since the parent needs to pay for an extra seat for the infant also due to the hassle of bringing a seat on board that rarely fit the airline seat. This project proposes a solution that increases the comfort and safety for both parent and child by: -placing the infant in a safer position, protecting the infant from impact with low-tech aircushions, -securing the infants’ head at impact and during emergency evacuations and -by providing a safe and easy to use alternative to the lifejacket.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The project aimed to find a safer and more comfortable solution to flying with infants, both for the baby and the adult. During the project there was a strive not to immensely increase the price for the parents nor the airline.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The project is strongly research-based and the solution comes from many levels of mock-up’s and tests. Deep user studies, following infants and their parents, as well as discussions with experts in this very specific field gave many useful insights. Two dolls weighted to resemble a 3 month old and a 17 month old were made early in the project to ensure viable ideas.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The final concept allows for tree different areas of use: - On the bulkhead wall, the seat is lowered in the unlikely case of an emergency to clear the adult’s crash zone and protect the infant from the adult and flying objects. - In the lap of the adult passenger, placed on the armrest (in this case the infant and the seat is attached to the adults belt). The lifejacket is inflated before impact and acts as an impact distributor over the infant’s body. This allows for more seats since the bulkhead seats are very limited. - Placed on its own passenger seat (the parents will have to purchase an extra seat) The Airborn would be working as an infant car seat. These three solutions cover most users’ needs and improve the safety for small children in commercial aircrafts.